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Diamonds in the Rough: Leadership Development at Vanderbilt

MBA applicants can get carried away with rankings. In this series, we profile amazing programs at business schools that are typically ranked outside the top 15.

Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management is known for its personalized approach to business education, allowing students the flexibility to choose modular, seven-week core courses within the first year of their MBA experience that match their career interests. And with an average class size of just 28 and a student-faculty ratio of 9:1, the school emphasizes a collaborative learning environment.

But one particular highlight of the school’s personalized offerings is the optional Vanderbilt MBA Leadership Development Program, which allows students to gain more extensive training beyond the for-credit course load. Thanks to a partnership with Hogan Assessments, students gain access to the same tools used by Fortune 500 companies to evaluate leadership strengths and weaknesses. With various leadership development tools at their disposal, students opt into either the program’s more tailored High-Touch Track or the Self-Guided Track, which entails less individualized attention. Alternatively, students may choose a combination of approaches via the A La Carte Track. The program’s partnership with Korn/Ferry International offers 360° Feedback, an assessment tool that gives students insight into how their leadership style is perceived by others. A mixture of one-on-one executive coaching sessions, group sessions and personalized development planning are among the program’s other offerings.

The Leadership Development Program is designed to give students a unique advantage when they are applying for summer internships. In addition, regardless of whether they were enrolled in the program during the first year, all students may choose to further their leadership experience in their second year by participating in various workshops, alumni networking events, group discussions and an exit consulting session sponsored by Hogan Assessments.



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